What better place to build green than in your garden? Check out these four eco friendly shed ideas to compliment your eco friendly yard.

A red shed with wooden doors surrounded by trees and sitting in a field of grass and dandelions.

When Devin started constructing our rather large garden shed from reclaimed materials I have to admit I was skeptical. Not about the garden shed design. Not about his building skills. And definitely not about the reclaimed materials. But the fact that he was building it in the dead of winter inside our garage? Did I mention our garage is nowhere near our backyard?

Several months and a lot of creative thinking later, I watched as he and his dad dragged the fully-framed shed down the steep hill next to our house and over to its final resting place with a backhoe. Then, he spent the rest of the summer learning how to work with metal siding and roofing via YouTube, because we had leftover materials from our garage build and he wanted to use them. Now that, my friends, is how you DIY sustainably.

While the majority of this post is meant to provide garden shed inspiration for those who too are on the eco-DIY track, I also discuss buying ready-made shed packages vs hiring a local builder. If that sounds more like you, use the menu below to skip to that section.

But if you’re inspired to build your very own eco friendly shed, then read on!

Note that this post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I strive to only feature eco-conscious products and brands.

Featured Video

Incorporate Reclaimed Materials into Your Sustainable Shed Design

Reclaimed materials are any material that were originally used for something else. For example, scraps of lumber leftover from a new home build can be used from framing. Wood siding that was pulled off an old house can be used on the exterior of a shed. The roof could have shingles found at businesses like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore

As mentioned above, reclaimed materials is the route we went. To be fully transparent, we did have to buy some new materials to fill in when we had nothing reclaimed to use. The garden shed pictured below was built by Dana from Funky Junk Interiors also using a mix of new and reclaimed materials and I think it turned out beautifully!

A wooden shed with a painted black door and ivy growing on the roof.
This garden shed features old barn windows, reclaimed wood for the siding and doors and reclaimed hardware. (Image Credit: Funky Junk via Home Talk)

Build an Eco Friendly Garden Shed Made from Natural Materials

If you envision a shed that really blends into your garden, consider building one using natural materials such as cob, adobe or straw bale. All three of these building techniques have been around for centuries, which makes sense because before human-made materials such as plastic and metal came around – natural was all we had to choose from.

If you’re thinking that building a shed using one of these techniques sounds difficult, I encourage you to check out this straw bale shed project. Jana Johnston of Kansas built a straw bale garden shed from scratch with the help of friends and family and no previous experience with straw bale construction.

Two photos - one of a straw bale shed in construction and the other of it finished.
According to Jana’s website, the exterior was painted with a homemade paint consising of lime, milk and a mineral pigment. I can totally picture this shed with vines growing over it blending into its surroundings. So cool! (Image Credit: Big Bad Wolf Straw Bale)

Need help choosing eco-conscious furniture and decor for your home? That’s what I’m here for!

Consider a Green Roof as Part of Your Eco Shed Build

What better place to install a green roof than in a garden? I think green roofs are amazing and are going to be a huge aspect of sustainable design moving forward. But installing a green roof on top of your home is a huge and very expensive undertaking. So why not try it on a smaller scale for starters?

One thing to keep in mind if you are considering building a shed with a green roof is that they’re easier to install on a flat roof, although the lovely shed below illustrates a sloped-roof can work as well. You’ll also want to consider that green roofs add extra weight and thus your shed’s roof system may need to be beefed up. I found this article from Treehugger about creating green roof’s helpful.

A small dark grey garden shed with plants growing on the roof.
After going through all the work of installing a green roof on your shed, you’ll want to insure the plants growing there thrive. Experts recommend planting vegetation that is native to your area as it will have the best chance of survival. (Image Credit: HGTV via Pinterest)

Not a DIYer and Looking to Buy? Read This First

About to type storage sheds near me into the search bar because DIYing isn’t for you? Before you do, here’s a few things to consider. What’s likely to come up is a mixture of ready-made sheds from big box stores and options by small, local builders. Many of the big box store options are going to be plastic-based and were likely built overseas and shipped to your “local” store.

Meanwhile, if you hire a builder who specializes in constructing garden sheds and other small buildings, you are truly supporting your local economy. And even if they don’t specialize in eco garden shed designs, ask them if they’re willing to work with reclaimed or natural materials. Local builders want your business and the ones who love their community and their craft will be receptive to your ideas.

A red garden shed with a white door in a grassy field.
I’ve always loved garden shed designs that look like miniature barns – and I’m sure you could hire a local builder to create one for you! (Image Credit: @bruktogblandet via The Lettered Cottage)

Time to go forth and build (or buy) a garden shed that compliments your eco-conscious lifestyle. Because the garden is a place where everything – even ideas – grow!

Do you have a garden shed? If so, what materials is made of? If not, describe your dream shed in the comments below…



A red shed with wooden doors surrounded by trees and sitting in a field of grass and dandelions with text 4 eco friendly garden shed ideas.

Posted on May 24, 2024

Let’s be treehuggers together!

Oh, and let’s be friends too…

Need help choosing eco-conscious furniture and decor for your home? That’s what I’m here for!

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.


Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I’ll send you my FREE list of “The 8 Best Places to Buy Eco-Conscious Decor Online.”

What on earth is sustainable design? Learn all about this eco-focused design method and read the latest posts about green architecture, interior design and decor.

Sustainable living is more than just a thing treehuggers talk about. It’s about making conscious choices everyday. Read the latest posts on living with the planet’s wellbeing always in mind. 

Visit the Of Houses and Trees sustainable product directory and support brands trying to make a difference in the world.

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

Need help creating the home of your dreams? Care about the planet? You’ve come to the right place! check out my affordable, sustainable e-design services.

Having a had time choosing paint colours? I’ve got you – and your walls – covered with an interior paint palette sure to compliment your home.

Have questions about creating an eco-conscious home? Go ahead – ask me! Sign up for one of my free online interior design consultations and ask me anything you want. 

A living room decorated in a mix of vintage and modern pieces.
4 Eco Friendly Shed Ideas for a More Sustainable Backyard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.